Florida man's back yard overrun with 'vicious' monkeys

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  July 11, 2017 at 8:45 AM
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July 11 (UPI) -- A Florida man who installed a deer feeder and a game camera in his back yard captured photos of something unexpected -- dozens of monkeys.

Brian Pritchard said he camera he set up at his Ocala home has been taking photos during the past few days of about 50 rhesus macaque monkeys eating from his deer feeder.

He said the monkeys climb the feeder and spin the plate to make corn shoot off in multiple directions to feed the whole group.

"They're vicious. They're extreme. I mean, they get extremely nasty," Pritchard told WFTV.

He said the monkeys have taken about 250 pounds of deer feed in recent days.

"Obviously the monkeys have it down pat. They don't have to wait on it. They climb up the poles and they just sit there and spin it off the plate," Pritchard said.

Pritchard lives about four miles from Silver Springs State Park, where an estimated 200 rhesus macaques live after a group of the primates were brought to the park as part of a river boat attraction in the 1930s. Researchers said many of the monkeys carry the deadly herpes B virus.

Two areas of the park have recently been shut down due to increased monkey presence after a family visiting the park last week captured video of their encounter with an aggressive family of macaques.

Pritchard said he and his family are scheduled to move into a home on the Ocala property next week. He said he does not currently have plans to take measures against the monkeys.

"As long as they don't bother me or my kids, I'm not going to bother them," he said.

He said he is prepared to take drastic measures if there is any sort of "incident" involving the monkeys.

"I'm not going to let a bunch of monkeys make me move," he told CBC Radio.

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